We spiraled down the escarpment road, with the dog,
keenly Houdini-twisted out of his harness, panting at the view,
and found the beach below torn open.
Great hunks of sand tossed crudely from the dunes.
A mass grave of mutton-birds had been swept ashore
resting in a gentle swash-curved line.
Charcoal thumb-smudge across the berm.
Do you suppose there must have been a storm out on the sea?
You asked, but neither of us knows what happens
out further than the frothing waves. The dog,
a westie-bitsa-something-terrier, nudges at a corpse.
Finds it unsavoury. Common. Looks up,
shakes out his skin, twitches his nostrils.
Throw the ball! Throw the ball! a swinging tongue begs
the taste of mortality already forgotten.
But the death sitting mucus-heavy
on the muffled ocean breath, tarnishes
that pure grey sky, for us proves harder to shift,
convicted in its cheap talismans;
beaks and feet and feathers and flesh.
The waves crumble ever, as always, in.
4 May 2016